two sweets and a savory

by Sandra

Hrm. Seems as if all I write about these days are baking and graduate school. Well, welcome to my life right now—that’s all it is—cookies and writing. Hey that doesn’t sound too bad, actually. Yet sometimes the constant pressure of homework assignments creates a tedium that I like to wiggle out from under occasionally. I got a little miffed at the thought that everyday would have to be dedicated to school work. I started to feel guilty when I felt I needed a day off—even just one. I asked around to several other friends in different grad programs. They all seemed to really want to study every day—almost hermetically so. What was wrong with me?

I explained all this on Sunday to my friend Bill in my most neurotic tone, to which he almost comfortingly replied “now you’re a real writer.” All sarcasm aside, he also backed me up about the taking a break approach, adding that if you’re constantly writing and never living, soon you’ve got nothing to write about (as a funny aside, check out Real Live Preacher’s take on writers writing about things over which they hold no authority).

Anyhow, as I mentioned before, every Friday is baking day, and I’ve deemed it thusly to give myself a chance to stretch my kitchen muscles. I’ve been chronicling my baking exploits quite vigorously up until this point, but have gotten a bit sloppy lately. Quickly now, here’s a run down of the last couple of weeks, and then I promise, I promise. I’ll blog about something other than food or school!

So two Fridays ago now, I made a flourless orange and ginger cake, via Chocolate and Zucchini.

I can’t honestly say this cake was my favorite. It, rather bizarrely, called for three oranges to be cooked for two hours and then to blend them to a pulp. The finished product had a strong, bitter aftertaste, but thankfully that went away by the second day.

This past weekend faired better. Friday morning I delved into a batch of chocolate mint cookies via Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

I practically ran myself ragged looking for the Andes mint chips that the recipe called for but to no avail (maybe it’s a Canadian thing, I’m not sure), so I settled for buying a box of regular Andes mints and chopping them up into the batter. I doubt anyone could tell the difference. Cookies I find are more user friendly than cakes. Maybe it’s their bite-sized-ness, but people are more apt to reach out and take one than to slice themselves a hunk of cake. And these little beauties went pretty fast at Michelle’s knit-a-thon Saturday.

And so did these.

Cheddar-dill scones from the Barefoot Contessa (I went off her cookbook). I had seen her make these on her show and they looked wonderful. Then again, when is the combination of cheese and bread ever bad? I was a little nervous, never having made scones before, but I need not have worried. Everything turned out just fine, and if I may be perfectly honest, they’re probably my favorite of anything I’ve ever made.